A Project Swole PSA blast from the past, still relevant today though most of the products mentioned are discontinued and considered ‘illegal’ today. It is interesting to see over time how things evolve, and in some cases how they stay the same.
This is a public service announcement to be careful when choosing bodybuilding supplements that claim to make you huge in a short amount of time. We need to constantly be aware of these faux steroid muscle-building supplements. They are as prevalent today as ever, and they have proven time and again that they can do more harm than good. But we still need to ask, is it really any of the FDA’s business what we choose to put into our bodies?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public not to use bodybuilding supplements advertised as steroids, or claiming to contain steroids or steroid-like substances.
The CNN article is here: FDA warns against body-building products claiming steroids
Thanks for the warning FDA, but please stop telling me what supplements to buy or not to buy.
Back in the day, the FDA sent a letter to American Cellular Laboratories Inc., alleging that some of the supplement manufacturer’s products, which are sold as dietary supplements, violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because they do not meet the FDA’s definition of a dietary supplement.
To be considered a dietary supplement, a product has to contain one or more dietary ingredients, such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, which some of American Cellular Laboratories products do not.
In fact, the FDA alleges that many of the products are sold as dietary supplements, but are actually unapproved and misbranded drugs. Let’s see which products were targeted by the probe.
The following American Cellular Laboratories Inc., products are affected:
- AH-89 Xtreme
- MMA-3 Xtreme
- VNS-9 Xtreme
- TT-40 Xtreme
From what I have ready, many of these products claim to have steroid-like ingredients, but actually contain synthetic steroids. An example of a well-known synthetic steroid is tetrahydrogestrinone or THG, the substance sold by BALCO Labs to many athletes including MLB all-time homerun record holder Barry Bonds, in a skin cream called ‘The Clear’.
The FDA claims these products are unsafe and ineffective. My take on this comment: “unsafe” could be true, but “ineffective” is probably false.
From 2008-2010 no less than 5 reports were filed claiming adverse effects caused by the above mentioned products, and 15 reports were filed citing similar products. Some reports detail serious liver injury, although there are no reports of acute liver failure or death.
Of course you realize that doesn’t mean much. There have probably been hundreds of reports citing injuries from coffee in the last year, but in reality coffee consumption has been shown to have several health benefits.
Did you know there are health benefits from having increased testosterone levels?
The benefits of high levels of testosterone include increased:
- bone density
- sex drive
- recovery from injury
Let Me Guess: You Want to Get Some Anabolics
These products are marketed as muscle building supplements. They supposedly help you gain muscle or maintain muscle on a strict fat loss plan. I must say quite frankly, that they probably do work pretty well.
I have not tried any of these products, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness or the safety of any of them, but it’s safe to say that if you get some of these you will be buying some pretty strong synthetic steroids or steroid alternatives.
It’s also safe to say that you should steer clear of any of these products if you have a history of liver problems, if you drink alcohol on a regular basis, or if you take any prescription drugs that could possibly interact with steroids or are known to be hard on the liver.
In my personal experience, I probably can’t take any of these products because supplements that claim to elevate my testosterone levels – including prohormones, synthetic juice, tribulus, and other t-enhancing herbs – tend to increase the effects of my Coumadin/Warfarin, and thin my blood WAY out, which means my blood won’t clot at all. Just a small internal bleed could mean massive hemorrhage and death.
A couple years ago I was using an andro pro-hormone spray just to see if it worked, and my blood was 5 times as thin as my doctors wanted. It caused my intestines to back up, likely due to non-stop internal bleeding, and I had to spend 2 nights in the hospital to thicken my blood and get my digestive system working again.
Medical contraindications are no joke. If you think you may possibly encounter a situation like this, be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything.
How You Might Use These Products
Assuming you don’t care what I say and want to get these products anyway, you should know how to cycle them correctly, and supplement to protect your body. There is also the option to try to increase your testosterone naturally through diet and exercise, so please don’t think supplements are your only course of action.
You don’t need to get all those products listed above. Just do some research and choose the one that works best, or two that work best together. Search around on popular bodybuilding forums to see which ones get the best reviews, and how people commonly cycle them.
Here is a forum thread specifically talking about the Tren-Xtreme product: Tren-Xtreme by American Cellular Labs
Use my advice only as a starting point for your research, and you MUST do your research before starting a cycle.
Rule #1: If you are female, forget about this completely and go buy some amino acids and protein powder; see my previous comments about increasing testosterone naturally using diet and exercise. Steroids, prohormones, and testosterone-increasing supplements are not for you.
Rule #2: If you are under 18, forget about this for now as your natural testosterone is the highest it will ever be. Take advantage of this wonderful condition by eating insane amounts of food and lifting insane amounts of weight. Come back to this article when you are at least 21 years old.
Rule #3: Steroids will shut down your natural testosterone production, causing your testicles to shrivel up and withdraw up against your body in extreme cases. If you don’t follow up a steroid cycle with proper post cycle therapy (PCT), you are setting yourself up for severe hormonal and physiological negative side effects, and will probably lose all your gains from the cycle.
Rule #4: At a minimum you would probably want to run a 4 week cycle followed by 4 more weeks of PCT to get your natural testosterone flowing again. Many people choose to run an 8-12 week cycle followed by 8-10 weeks of PCT. This is an aggressive cycle that I don’t recommend to newbies.
Rule #5: Have your PCT on hand before starting the cycle. This way if something goes wrong, such as your nipples start to get itchy or puffy indicating the onset of gynocomastia, you can jump off the gear straight into your PCT. Some people recommend running PCT twice as long as the anabolics, but in my experience an equal time frame works fine. This brings me to…
Rule #6: Know all the signs and symptoms of side effects related to steroid use. This way if you will know ahead of time if something is going wrong. For example, increased acne is not an emergency; while swollen, puffy, itchy nipples precede gyno, which is a condition that will not go away, could get worse (you will grow man boobs), and will require surgery to fix if you continue to stay on the juice.
A generic effective cycle might look something like this:
- Week 1: 1 dose of gear
- Week 2: 2 doses of gear
- Week 3: 2-3 doses of gear (depending on how you react to it)
- Week 4: 1-2 doses of gear
- Weeks 5-6: two doses of PCT
- Weeks 7-8: one dose of PCT
Products commonly used for PCT include:
- Clomid – It’s illegal to get this without a prescription, but you can sometimes order it online or find someone with connections. I can’t get it for you and I don’t know where to get it, so don’t ask. Keywords: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM)
- Nolvadex – Another SERM. Better than Clomid, but the same legal restrictions apply.
- Reversitol – A legal, trans-resveratrol based, anti-aromatase hormonal regulator.
- I3C – A legal Indol-3-Carbinol supplement
- Activate Extreme – A legal, zinc-based supplement with a proprietary blend of herbs and other substances, which I am too lazy to break down here, that supposedly promote natural testosterone production. Also contains I3C.
- Stoked – Another legal trans-resveratrol based, anti-estrogen supplement that also promotes natural testosterone production.
- Silymarin – Contains Milk Thistle extract, which is great for the liver. The reason we don’t take this during the cycle is because it will hinder supplement absorption.
A common PCT cycle using the legal products might be as follows:
- Reversitol or Stoked @ 3/2/2/1 servings every day (ED)
- Active Extreme @ 2 servings ED
- I3C @ 200 mg ED
- Silymarin or Milk Thistle @ 2/2/1/1 servings ED
A common PCT cycle using the controlled products might be as follows:
- Nolvadex @ 30/30/20/20 mg ED
That is all I am going to write right now about using steroids, anabolics, steroid alternatives, synthetic steroids, or any related topics.
If you intend to get any of those products, you better do much more research first and really understand what you are getting yourself into.